How to Make a Boffer Bow


Boffer, or boffa as it's sometimes known, is a designation for the weapons used by live-action role players, or LARPers. Heavily padded, they are often made from materials such as PVC pipe and pool noodles, which are a type of closed cell foam. Bows are one of the few exceptions to this, in that to be effective, a boffer bow still has to be made from materials that will make it capable of firing an arrow.

Things You'll Need

  • 4 feet of light, springy wood stock
  • Belt sander
  • Pool noodle
  • Knife
  • Duct tape
  • Trace the overall design of the bow onto the stock. Six inches in the middle should be dedicated to the handle, with the remainder being used for limbs.

  • Taper the limbs from the handle to the points using the belt sander, ideally down to half an inch from the starting thickness. The taper should be round because a round taper decreases the bow's power compared to a flat or D-shaped cross section.

  • Notch the limb ends an inch from the tips to keep the bowstring in place. Shape the handle as desired using the belt sander.

  • String the bow. Tie one end of the bowstring off at the notch on one limb, bend the bow by placing your knee in the middle and pulling back on the unstrung limb, and tie the other end. The distance between the string and handle should be between 6 and 8 inches when you release pressure.

  • Cut two 2-inch sections of pool noodle and jam them halfway onto the points of the bow. Tape them down using duct tape, making sure to wrap around the bow limb and not the string.

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